For the sixth consecutive year, Law360 has named MoFo to its annual list of the nation’s top 20 pro bono firms. MoFo is one of only two firms that have been highlighted every year since the list’s inception. The award not only honors firms that donated their time and resources to important causes, but also firms that overcame hurdles to nab major wins on behalf of their clients. This year, MoFo amassed more than 97,000 hours of pro bono work.
“We have a really strong tradition here,” Jennifer Brown, MoFo senior pro bono counsel told Law360. “We’re really proud that (Morrison & Foerster) has been recognized as a pro bono firm of the year every year.”
Among many other pro bono projects this year, the firm achieved historic victories for marriage equality in Idaho and Montana. San Francisco litigation partner Ruth Borenstein, who has been involved in the fight for marriage equality for years, helped make Montana the 35th U.S. state to permit same-sex marriage through her work on Rolando v. Fox. She is also among the lawyers who filed an amicus brief in the same-sex marriage cases on behalf of leading experts in international law and human rights, and in June, the U.S. Supreme Court handed down its landmark decision prohibiting state-level bans on same-sex marriage.
“I’m very proud to have played some role in it,” Ms. Borenstein told Law360. “It’s really very personal. Being an out lesbian from the very first days I came to the firm, being able to use my law degree to help make progress on LGBT rights, it’s very personal because it affects me and it affects people like me across the country.”
Law360 also reported that the firm is also in the midst of a Texas abortion rights case and won a Supreme Court ruling that restored access to abortion for nearly one million women in Texas. New York litigation partner Alex Lawrence, who has been heavily involved in the abortion case, said he is grateful for how the firm allows its attorneys to choose the specific type of pro bono cases they want to work on if they so desire.
Mr. Lawrence told Law360, “There’s no doubt about it, the firm’s pro bono culture makes (Morrison & Foerster) unique.”
This year, the firm also secured a $2 million settlement for former Nevada foster youths; successfully advocated for effective language assistance for Asian American voters in Washington D.C. 2014 elections; and provided pre-petition assistance to low-income individuals filing chapter 7 bankruptcy petitions.
Ms. Brown told Law360 that “it’s the firm’s constant vigilance and desire to help those in need that keeps the request for pro bono representation rolling in.”
For more information, read Law360’s article about the firm’s pro bono practice.